DEAR EDITOR:

Former Commissioner Bob Ott’s musing’s on bad garbage service misses a basic fact. When Bob was a kid like me, garbage service was a public service. You paid your property taxes and among other things, you got your garbage picked up.

Back then, if your municipal garbage system had problems, citizens could call their elected representatives and complain. Enough complaints and folks like Ott would not get re-elected.

Now, the complaints go to your elected official and then to that private garbage service. If it isn’t financially attractive to improve service, then nothing happens.

Enron, the Texas Power Grid, and Georgia Power’s Nuclear Division use that same strategy. Little companies act like big ones. First, they get a garbage contract for a subdivision with a little campaign contribution or the assistance of a co-owner’s brother-in-law on the county commission. After that, their customers are at the mercy of an unregulated market.

In a democracy, if your elected officials don’t perform, their constituents can organize to vote them out. With our corporate government, companies cannot be voted out.

I also remember public ambulance service, public hospitals, good public schools, roads, and responsive elected officials.

Mike Holzknecht

Atlanta

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